Renting with Pets in the UK, France, Germany and Canada

26.02.2021 12:47 pm

Whether you are renting with a pet in the UK, France or Germany, there is one common rule. Inform the landlord or agent you have a pet before signing on the ‘dotted line’. If you don’t, you risk eviction or trouble with your landlord.

In France or Germany, a landlord cannot refuse a pet but there are still rules and regulations

##Living with Pets in France

Renting with Pets in France, the emphasis is on the tenants who are liable, even after their tenancy.

  • Although a landlord cannot legally refuse someone renting with a pet, and you are not obliged to inform a landlord that you have a cat or dog, it is recommended you do so out of common courtesy.
  • Best to be on good terms with the landlord. If there are damages, the landlord can take them from the deposit.
  • If you are on good terms with the landlord and have informed them that you are renting with a dog or cat, you could even propose making repairs yourself. Subject to the repairs being the same standard as before.
  • In France, when a tenant has a pet, it is best to include a clause in the tenancy agreement, stating that you, as the tenant, agree to treat your pet against fleas.
  • Unlike the UK, if you don’t treat your cat or dog for fleas and the property is ‘infested’ with fleas in the furniture, carpets, sofas and cushions etc, then the landlord has recourse to charge the tenant, even after they have left, for loss of rent as well as costs to fumigate the property.
  • In the UK, the landlord is simply capped to 5 weeks deposit and cannot enforce extra costs as part of the tenancy agreement.
  • Which animals are allowed in France? Tenants are allowed to rent with one or more pets in pet friendly furnished accommodation, providing the property and common parts (with regards to flats) is peaceful and not disturbing to the neighbours. The tenants are responsible for any damage and disturbance caused in and around including common hallways etc and are liable.

Renting with pets in Paris gives more in-depth information about how it is in France as well as Paris to rent with your pets

Living with Pets In Germany

  • Like the UK, in Germany there are many properties with no pets clauses.
  • You have to notify your landlord before signing a tenancy agreement, or you can be evicted. Size and quantity of pets can make a difference, as landlords are concerned about damage.
  • In Germany it is recommended that the tenant takes out third party insurance. This makes sense and since the introduction of the 2019 Tenant Fees Act in the UK, extra costs cannot be enforced by landlords. Renting with pets in Berlin provides interesting information about renting with pets in Germany.

Interesting Dutch Pets & Property Tips

  • Did you know that in Amsterdam, finding cat friendly accommodation is easier than for people with dogs? The reason is that cats are seen more as mice catchers rather than pets and help the City with their rodent issue.

  • In the Netherlands, there is an annual dog tax which is based on the number of dogs you have. The dog is the only pet that is taxed.

Dutch Review outlines all you need to know about having a pet in the Netherlands. Everything from travel, regulations, vaccinations and renting with pets.

Renting with Pets in Canada

In Canada, unlike the United States it is illegal to ask for extra pet rents. There are added costs to consider when renting with pets. Landlords may ask for higher deposits to cover potential damage. The laws in Canada, are however, based on provincial jurisdiction. This recent article on pet friendly rentals in Zolo clarifies the rules and costs depending on the state you are looking to rent in.

Living with Pets in the UK

Why is it that only 7% of landlords allow pets, yet 50% of the population owns a pet? With 26% of the population owning a dog, it is a market that landlords certainly cannot ignore.

What are the issues?

  • Before the introduction of the ‘mindless’ 2019 Tenant Fees Act https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/tenant-fees-act, pet owners and landlords could find solutions. Landlords could ask for pet insurance cover or a deep clean at the end of the tenancy. There was the ability to be flexible on the deposit. If there is no damage, the funds are returned.
  • Post 2019, we see more UK landlords put off renting to people with pets. The deposit for many is too little capped at 5 weeks. They cannot enforce any insurance or deep clean, they are now liable for extra costs that tenants used to pay. Pet friendly rentals are less attractive even though there are a growing number of UK pet owners.
  • Some landlords reacted post 2019, by introducing extra ‘pet rents’, per pet and per month. A sum ranging from £20-50 per pet, per month, to recuperate lost fees. The Act, designed to help tenants cost, ended up penalising people renting with pets on all fronts. Badly thought out.
  • In 2021, the UK Government announcement suggested the use of the Model Tenancy Agreement to make it easier to rent with pets, is a poor response to a growing issue. It is merely suggestive and not enforced. In other words. Nothing has changed.
  • We even come across pet owners who are also landlords. They sympathise how difficult it is to find pet friendly accommodation in the UK. However, when it comes to their own properties, no pets are allowed. It is a business and despite the plight of fellow dog owners, it is a pension/ investment. That is the thinking of the majority of UK landlords full stop. This article from This is Money, sums it up. What it however, fails to add is that, even thought the 2021 Model tenancy proposal is a step in the right direction, the 2019 Tenant Fees Act, basically took it back ‘many steps’. This article by a leading UK blog, The Dogvine, shows how pet friendly the UK is in general. More shops, restaurants, cafes (during non-covid times) are opening their doors to dogs. Dog bowls are appearing outside shops, stickers on windows saying dogs allowed. Where the UK falls down is pet friendly accommodation and the ‘blanket’ no pets allowed mindset of UK landlords.

    General Issues

  • Landlords have long term memories. An irresponsible pet owner and excessive damage is not forgotten. Word spreads and suddenly lots of ‘doors’ are closed to pets.
  • Walking the streets at the moment, a lot of dog owners are not picking up after their dogs. That gives a really bad impression.

Summary about renting with pets

In the UK, basically landlords are afraid of what they don’t know. A pet means damage to many and they hear horror stories. Unlike the other afore mentioned countries, a UK landlord cannot ask for a bigger deposit, add a request for pet insurance and a deep clean to be written into the tenancy agreement. Unlike their counterparts overseas, their hands are tied. Yet it is forecast that by 2025, 60% of the UK population will own a pet. With a younger ‘generation rent’, that is over half the available tenants. Something has to change. The recent suggestive approach by the UK government is not enough and it needs to be regulated.

Pets Lets is a UK pet-friendly property portal offering properties where landlords consider pets. We represent clients with our pet friendly Relocation Service. Finding a rental that allows pets is stressful enough in the UK. We help pet owners find pet-friendly rentals and also offer a UK relocation service, as well as advice and tips for pet owners. We are so passionate about pet friendly rentals that we have set up a Pets and Property Tips Facebook Group for helpful professional advice on pets and property